- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
WETZSTEIN: Divorce changes children
I don’t know when the phrase “Disneyland Dad” was coined, but I saw one the other night.
My husband and I were at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to meet a flight. While we waited at the baggage-claim area, a flight from Orlando, Fla., arrived.
After a short while, a girl, about 14, sat next to me on a bench. She pulled out her cell phone and proceeded to offer an instant snapshot of a child’s life after the divorce of her parents.
“Mom, I do not want to spend the night with Dad,” Daughter said. “Please can’t I come home? I just spent a week with him in Orlando, and that was enough.”
I, of course, couldn’t hear what the mother was saying, but it was clear she was in no mood to drive to BWI at 11:30 at night to pick up her teenager.
But Daughter pressed on. “Please come get me. He’s standing over there, texting someone. Probably Pam,” she said, needling her mom.
Moreover, Daughter explained in increasingly righteous tones that if she had to go home with her father tonight and went home to her mother the next day, then just a few days later, she would “have to go back to Dad’s, because it’s his weekend.”
“This is just so unfair,” she said.
Her conversation reminded me of a book written a few years ago by a now-adult child of divorce named Elizabeth Marquardt.
“Kicked back and forth like a football” could be a metaphor for a child’s life after divorce, Mrs. Marquardt wrote in “Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce.”
As a child, Mrs. Marquardt once suggested to her father that maybe she, too, was a football. In response, her father had grown angry, and “he assured me sternly that this image did not apply to me. He and my mother loved me, he said.”
And it was true, Mrs. Marquardt wrote, her parents did not kick her. They hugged her passionately before they passed her to each other.
“Still, there was something about that football,” she wrote. “I could see it spinning in its arc, flying freely, even beautifully, from the one who launched it to the one who caught it. But … it seemed almost too high, too free; it belonged neither to the place it had left, nor to the place where it was going. Maybe it belonged in that space in between.”
Divorce changes childhood.
In married families, children live inside their parents’ world.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Panel seeks 'surveillance' system for gay blood donors
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- With new HIV research, FDA may let gay men donate blood
- HHS report shows a decrease in blood supply but also a drop in demand
Latest Blog Entries
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
- House votes to reject Obama welfare shift
- Report: Two out of three Democrats support gay marriage
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!